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What do INFJ Cognitive Functions Symbolize about Their Nature?

What do INFJ Cognitive Functions Symbolize about Their Nature?

Updated on Jan 10, 2023 | Published on Dec 22, 2022

Reviewed by Dr. Nereida Gonzalez-Berrios, MD , Certified Psychiatrist

What do INFJ Cognitive Functions Symbolize about Their Nature

INFJs are kind, caring, and sensitive individuals. They’re deeply caring about the needs of others. At the same time, they are logic-oriented and thoughtful types. If you analyze INFJ cognitive functions, you’ll find a perfect balance of feeling-thinking functions. This is probably the reason that they are known as contradictory and immensely amazing types.

They’re artistic and articulate but also have the perfect sense of facts and reasoning. They have both sides to their unique nature. INFJs are intuitive introverts. This also makes them reserved and private people who prefer solitary activities to group belongingness.

It takes no time to say that INFJs have a complex nature. They have varied shades that need to be embraced and developed for their overall personality growth. These individuals are smart and talented, and subconsciously absorb a lot of information that demands creative expression.

In this article, we will discuss their core psychological functioning in detail. Stay On….


INFJ Cognitive functions

The INFJ personality type is the rarest combination of head and heart. They are introverted, intuitive, feeling, and judging types who are unique in their own ways. They possess certain specific psychological functions that help them perceive and process information from their surroundings and thereby make decisions in the ways it needs to be done.  

At the outset, an INFJ appears a complicated person but they’re incredibly insightful and compassionate almost at the same level. People with INFJ traits are guided by deep personal values. They prefer to walk along the path of righteous living and contribute positively to the lives of others. In a way, they are community builders and diplomatic helpers in society as well.

Their unique combination of cognitive functions makes them unique beings. Their intuitive nature helps them imagine future possibilities. They will judge past and future events thoroughly and leaves room for interpreting everything in new ways rather than upholding the decision in black and white. INFJs are not straightforward decision-makers. They tend to evaluate the pros and cons of everything before taking the final call.

As inferred from their functional stack, it is evident that INFJs have introverted intuition as a dominant cognitive function. They have an extraverted feeling (Fe) as a secondary function. This makes them prioritize generosity and kindness above everything else. INFJs will easily get bothered by the emotions of others. They will prefer to help and support those in distress.

Their humanistic ideals are compassion, altruism, sensitivity, and empathy. Being an introvert, they will not be able to express their own emotions lucidly instead helps others to find an expression of their emotional undertones. Extraverted feelers are usually concerned with satisfying others’ emotional needs than their own.

INFJs would be considerate towards everyone. They would prefer to help others in social spheres instead of competing with others for pride, recognition, or social status. Helping others can be deeply fulfilling to an INFJ. 

They hate mistreating others and would love to create humanitarian societies based on fairness and justice. The cognitive functions play a dominant role in understanding how an INFJ type chooses to live their lives and why they do it in such a manner.

Before we do a thorough study of the cognitive functions, let’s understand their four-letter description of the type briefly in the next section.


INFJ Type Description in brief

INFJ is an abbreviation given to this personality type with introverted-intuitive qualities. There are 16 personality types described in the MBTI personality test with four-letter abbreviations for their naming purpose.

Introverted (I)

THE INFJ person is always a private nerd. They live in an inner world of richness and seclusion. These individuals will talk less, listen more, and responds only when it is absolutely necessary. As an Introverts, they keep their feelings private and are hard to be known from the outside. 

People with INFJ preferences are keen to remain in an inner world of silence and bliss. To an outsider, they are distant and reserved, however, they’re deeply in tune with the needs of others. These individuals will keep a low-profile social life. They will not socialize more than what is needed and prefers to be a part of a closed, friendly group of like-minded people.

As introverts, they will retreat to a safe zone inside themselves just to re-energize themselves all over again. These individuals take time to decide and never accept criticism easily. They may melt down and feel hurt if criticized for being different from others.

Intuitive (N)

As an intuitive type, an INFJ prefers to see the bigger picture. They never get stuck with details but rather prefer to see what possibilities lie ahead in the future. These people rely on seeing abstract ideas manifesting into real-life possibilities. They play with ideas and imaginations that are exceptionally innovative and creative. 

Thinking about the overall concept helps an INFJ analyze what can be made possible in the future. They are passionate dreamers and doers who will not rest unless they have put their incredibly amazing ideas into reality.

They also possess a deep desire to understand everything that the world seems to possess. Being an intuitive type also means that INFJs will remember events with an overall impression. They will never see the details but prefers to judge things on an overall first impression.

Feeling (F)

INFJs are inclined to use subjective feelings in decision-making. They are emotional and sensitive, gentle and compassionate. As a result of these feeling traits, they are quick to analyze people’s mood and can understand subtle feelings that lie beneath the outward surface of a person’s behavior.

People with INFJ preferences are naturally ruled by their hearts. Their moral compass guides their behavior and actions all the time. Making human connections that are committed and trustworthy is always important for these feeling types. They prefer to add value to their own and others’ lives by being compassionate and humble.

INFJs have an extraverted feeling (Fe) as an auxiliary function. Thus, they are friendly and sociable. Even they can make quality emotional connections that are enriched and long-lasting forever.

Judging (J)

In Myers Briggs’s terminology, judging personality types doesn’t necessarily mean that these people are critical and judgmental. However, the judging function primarily focuses on INFJs preference for order and the system around them. 

INFJs love organized ways of doing things. Their plans are always well-laid and they will prefer to remain neat and meticulous in all circumstances. People with INFJ preferences will show stubborn behavior at times, mostly in situations where others try to dismiss their opinions and high-held values.

As a judging type, INFJs have a well-ordered inner world and prefer to have the same order and organization all around them in the outer world. These individuals will follow rules at all coasts, are close-minded, and may prefer to follow the same routine every day. To some extent, they are change–resistant unless the change is of utmost necessity.


The Description of cognitive functions

Let’s analyze the overall functional stack of an INFJ type. We will start with the dominant function that has the maximum influence on their overall behavior pattern. INFJs have introverted intuition (Ni) as a dominant function. At the same time, their feeling side is tuned outside and they possess extraverted feeling (Fe) as an auxiliary function.

INFJs also have two other less impactful functions in their functional stack. They are introverted thinking (Ti) as a tertiary function and extraverted sensing (Se) as an inferior function. 

1. Dominant function: Introverted intuition (Ni)

A person with introverted intuition as a dominant function has deep insights. They are single-minded in their focus and understanding; rarely get double thoughts about anything. You can say that they live with this function throughout life. For an INFJ, introverted intuition is a perceptual function. 

With the use of this function, INFJs look into the outside world observes thoroughly, and look for hidden meanings and patterns. They are good to read between lines and can readily understand if something is out of place anywhere. Intuition is a gut feeling that allows for deeper insights and helps the person in decision-making. 

They will gather a lot of information but may not know what to do with this information overload. In such a situation, they will take a lot of time to decide on certain important issues in life that actually require prompt decision-making.

  • Introverted intuition helps them search deeper layers of meanings in a situation.
  • Makes them keen observers who can understand subtle meanings.
  • They can foresee future implications and likely outcomes of a circumstance much ahead of others.
  • Helps in developing strategies for successful problem-solving.
  • They can understand abstract patterns better than concrete ideas.
  • Introverted intuition allows deep thinking, the use of gut feeling in decision making
  • INFJs can understand the unseen aftermath of a situation that can either turn too bitter or can be controlled somehow in the future.
  • Always hunts for symbolic meanings behind every event or any person’s behavior.
  • Can read between the lines and derives conclusions based on a hunch.

2. Auxiliary function: Extraverted feeling (Fe)

This is a secondary function that the INFJ person will use while interacting with the outside world. It is a decision-making function that relies upon others’ needs and problems. The Fe function symbolizes an outward orientation for opinions and judgments. This function makes the person relate to others’ feelings more than one own emotions.

INFJs would look for objective judgments by trying to understand how others might be feeling in a situation. This function looks for varied perspectives and opinions regarding important decisions in life.

  • This function helps INFJ align themselves with the physical and emotional needs of others.
  • INFJs can easily understand the emotional wavelength of other people more than their own.
  • INFJs will prefer to avoid confrontations as always because the extraverted feeling function makes them harmonious and peace-loving beings.
  • They will consider the opinions, feelings, and perspectives of others while making a decision.
  • Their moral code of conduct keeps telling them what needs to be done and what’s not allowed.
  • They are quick to notice changes in people’s moods and feelings.

3. Tertiary function: Introverted thinking (Ti)

Introverted thinking is a function that INFJs use when they are in a playful and easygoing state of mind. Here, they will create mental maps of how thing function and what they can do to alter and change the pattern of things so that future goals are accomplished gracefully. 

In introverted thinking, INFJs will go deeper into layers of thinking, various possibilities that may or may not arise, and what will be their immediate decision-making style in such a situation. People with INFJ preferences will use this type of thinking in developing accuracy and logical reasoning. 

 This function is not very powerful in an INFJ profile.

  • INFJs will show interest in the elaboration of concepts and the usage of words in describing those concepts.
  • Focused on making sensible decisions, not based on emotions alone.
  • Tries to nitpick the logic of others internally. Maybe trying to dive deep into the matter before taking the final call.
  • Keen to know how things work or operate in various situations and why it is so.
  • A dislike for logical fallacies that are not tuned to human needs and emotions.
  • INFJs would love to argue, debate, and discuss the matter several times before making the appropriate decision.

4. Inferior function: Extraverted Sensing (Se)

The Se function is responsible for helping the person rely on facts and observable data for decision-making. INFJs are poorly developed with this function, and that’s the reason they prefer abstraction, ideas, and imagination for decision-making. INFJs are poor with detailing. This function is an inferior one in their functional stack. They fail to master the art of concrete thinking in their lives.

  • INFJs are inattentive to concrete details that are important and prefer to see only the overall impression.
  • Becomes highly sensitive to sensory overload. They cannot attend to too much sensory stimulation at a time. 
  • INFJs cannot respond well to the sudden changes taking place in their immediate environment.
  • They may trip, fall, or bump into objects in their surroundings because they are unmindful of the present moment and what is there in front.
  • If this function matures with time, INFJs will become more grounded and present-focused.
  • Under stress, this function operates and INFJs will become impulsive. They will seek constant sensory stimulations and prefers to take up unhealthy habits to allure their senses and combat the mental pressure bothering them.
  • As INFJs mature with age, this Se function gives them a factual basis for their deep thinking skills and insightful propositions.

 To Sum Up

The mental functioning of an INFJ depicts some rare subtle combinations. They are authentic, value-oriented, thoughtful, and amazingly organized with their life and lives. INFJ cognitive functions have clearly revealed that these individuals are reserved and thoughtful types but also value human emotions, and relationships quite deeply. 

They will choose to focus on the beauty of everything and not the flaws. They are optimistic and prefer to remain so in their daily lives, hope never deserts them because they are always seeking ways to create a better tomorrow for the human race.

Overall, they are calm, gentle, and sensitive. With personal values, they are steadfast and will never compromise on them, even if dire necessity arises. Sometimes, helping others gives them the greatest joy and peace of mind like none other.